The U.S. House Select Committee Investigation of the January 6 Attack on the Capitol: Part 6

Social Justice Policy Brief #30 | By: Erika Shannon | December 17, 2021

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The investigation into the January 6 attack on our nation’s capitol is currently well underway; there have been numerous subpoenas issued, thousands of tips collected, and many depositions and interviews conducted. However, in their efforts to get to the bottom of what exactly happened leading up to and on January 6, 2021, the House Select Committee has been facing a few hurdles. From Trump’s former staffers attempting to stonewall the investigation to throngs of information to sort through, the Committee is working hard to map out the day’s events and ensure that something like this does not happen again. Any threat to our democratic processes is a threat to our freedom, and the Committee is trying to preserve American democracy through their investigation.

In recent House Select Committee news, a new batch of subpoenas was issued to individuals who are thought to be involved in the organization and planning of rallies on January 5 and 6 of this year. This includes individuals who may have worked directly with the former President to plan the Ellipse rally that directly preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The six newest individuals to be subpoenaed are Robert Peede Jr, Max Miller, Brian Jack, Bryan Lewis, Ed Martin, and Kimberly Fletcher. The Committee believes these individuals may be able to better help piece together the events leading up to the Capitol breech. There is hope they will cooperate since hundreds of others have already come forth with information and testimony.

However time is running out for former Trump aide Mark Meadows. The House Select Committee subpoenaed Meadows to sit for a deposition and turn over a slew of relevant records. However, Meadows has repeatedly refused to comply and is now facing contempt of Congress charges just like Steve Bannon. When faced with the idea of possible criminal charges, Meadows actually attempted to sue House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all nine members of the House Select Committee. Meadows lawsuit was an attempt to invalidate two subpoenas that the Committee had issued to him and to Verizon. The House Select Committee recently released text messages sent to Meadows in the days leading up to the insurrection; these texts were read on the House floor during a debate of whether or not a criminal contempt of Congress charge should be brought up against Meadows.

It is important to note, Meadows will be the third Trump ally to face contempt proceedings; just a couple of weeks ago, former US Attorney General Jeffrey Clark was also voted in contempt. However, the panel was allowing him another chance to testify before moving forth with proceedings.

Subpoenas and lack of cooperation are not the only big news related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. It has recently been revealed that the 72-year-old daughter of the founder of Publix grocery stores was the largest publicly known donor to the rally preceding the riot at the US Capitol. Julie Fancelli donated $300,000 to Women for America First, a nonprofit group that helped organize the January 6 rally. 

Fancelli also donated $150,000 to the nonprofit arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association; that money paid for a robocall touting a march to “call on Congress to stop the steal.” Fancelli then donated $200,000 to State Tea Party Express, a conservative group that allegedly used the money for radio ads and social media ads urging supporters of Trump to attend the rally and the subsequent march on the Capitol. 

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With the Committee trying to follow the money, they finally believe they have found the biggest financier of the attack on the US Capitol. Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Committee, believes Fancelli played a strong role in helping finance the rally leading up to the Capitol riots. It is thought that the Committee will reach out to her at some point in the future.

Although it seems there will always be hurdles to overcome in an investigation of this magnitude, there are also some positives to focus on. Kash Patel, former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, met with the House Select Committee and with a team of lawyers to give his deposition. The leader of the group “Stop the Steal,” Ali Alexander, also recently appeared before the House Select Committee to cooperate with the investigation.

As more information and facts are revealed, it is thought that the House Select Committee will continue to issue subpoenas in an attempt to get the whole picture of January 6, 2021 and the days leading up to it. It is clear that some of Trump’s closest ally’s intend on doing whatever they can to keep their lips sealed, but it is unclear how long it will last. 

This brief is part of an ongoing series in the Select Committee’s investigation; further updates will be provided as the investigation continues.

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